The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Telegraph

Lay assessors block judge's guilty verdict on Tsvangirai
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 30/07/2004)

Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's opposition leader, might have been convicted
of high treason yesterday but for the intervention of two lay assessors
helping to hear the trial.

Senior legal sources in Harare disclosed that Mr Justice Paddington Garwe,
who presided over the trial, had wanted to find Mr Tsvangirai guilty, but
the verdict was delayed because of the assessors' insistence that they be
fully consulted.

Zimbabwe has no jury system and cases are routinely tried by a judge sitting
with two lay assessors. Matters of law are decided by the judge alone.
Questions of fact must be resolved by a majority of the panel of three.

The verdict in the trial of Mr Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for
Democratic Change, was due to be delivered in Harare's High Court yesterday.
Treason carries a possible death penalty. But the procedural concerns
expressed by the two assessors forced a postponement.

Lawyers say this is the first time in Zimbabwe's history that judgment has
been delayed in such circumstances. "I've never heard of this in my 30 years
in law," said Adrian de Bourbon, a former chairman of Zimbabwe's Bar

Mr Tsvangirai was placed on trial after unsuccessfully challenging Robert
Mugabe for Zimbabwe's presidency in elections two years ago which western
observers said were neither free nor fair. He was charged with treason for
allegedly plotting to kill President Mugabe and mount a coup.

Last month, Mr Justice Garwe informed Mr Tsvangirai's defence lawyers that
judgment would be delivered on July 29. But a week ago, his office told the
lawyers that judgment had been postponed.

The Daily Telegraph has established from a senior legal source in Harare
that Mr Justice Garwe was prepared to deliver a guilty verdict without
consulting the assessors, Misheck Nyandoro and Joseph Dangarembizi, but he
could not do so. The two men demanded to study the 2,000-page transcript of
the trial.

Lawyers for the prosecution had presented secretly recorded video footage of
a meeting between Mr Tsvangirai and Ari Ben Menashe, a Canadian political

During this encounter, Mr Tsvangirai was recorded discussing the
"elimination" of Mr Mugabe. The defence claims that he was enticed to use
the word six times.

The prosecution said the opposition leader was plotting the president's
murder. But Mr Mugabe's regime had secretly engaged Mr Ben Menashe as a
political consultant and paid him more than £400,000. Mr Tsvangirai's
lawyers argued that he had been the victim of a political "sting".

During the trial, Mr Justice Garwe agreed with the prosecution that Mr Ben
Menashe's contract with the Zimbabwean government should not be disclosed
because it would be "prejudicial to national security".

Public records show that Mr Justice Garwe, who is Judge President of the
High Court, ranking second only to the Chief Justice, is one of 12 High
Court judges who have been awarded formerly white-owned farms.

Zimbabwe's judiciary once enjoyed a worldwide reputation as the most
independent in Africa. The regime's political opponents have been placed on
trial before - yet independent-minded judges have often acquitted them.

The handling of Mr Tsvangirai's trial has appalled many lawyers, who believe
that Zimbabwe's legal system has been compromised. "Every one of us is
frightened to talk out and be identified about this case and many others,"
said a partner in a large legal firm.

"We're complicit because we continue to practise as if there was a
respectable legal system when it is a charade."

a.. Lawyers for the prosecution in the trial of 70 suspected mercenaries in
Zimbabwe want South African intelligence agents to give evidence, it emerged

Ronnie Kasrils, South Africa's intelligence minister, disclosed last month
that the men were arrested at Harare international airport following a
tip-off from his agents.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


Zimbabwe in talks with SA intellegence on 'mercenaries'

July 30, 2004, 08:18

A Zimbabwe magistrate yesterday postponed until August 18 the trial of 70
suspected mercenaries accused of plotting a coup in Equatorial Guinea. The
lawyer for the men says the state asked for more time to liaise with the
National Intelligence of SA to get agents to testify against the men.

Alwyn Griebenauw says he was surprised by this because the authorities in
South Africa have said they have no evidence regarding conspiracy.
Griebenauw says at the moment he does not know who will be asked to be
witnesses on the South African side. He hopes they will be given the
necessary information before the trial date.

Simon Mann, the man regarded as the leader of the group, pleaded guilty on
Wednesday to attempting to possess dangerous weapons. Mann, a former member
of Britain's elite Special Air Service commando force, who holds British and
South African citizenship, denied purchasing the weapons.

Earlier this week 67 other members of the group pleaded guilty and were
convicted of contravening Zimbabwe's immigration and aviation laws when
their plane landed in Harare in March.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Nkomo hits back
Dumisai Muleya
ZANU PF chairman John Nkomo has warned ruling party "infil-trators and
saboteurs" playing to the gallery in the deepening multiple farm allocation
row that their antics will no longer be tolerated.

Nkomo, who is also Land, Land Reform and Resettlement minister, said he was
proceeding to recover surplus farms ministers and high-ranking officials
were allocated, despite protests by those affected.

He said the angry obfuscations by those "defending the in-defensible" would
not scare him or frustrate his efforts to retrieve the farms from

"I won't be intimidated, per-turbed or frustrated by those causing all this
hullabaloo," Nkomo said.

"There are some people now abusing Zanu PF for personal ambitions and gain.
As chairman of Zanu PF and, indeed, as minister I will stand firm in defence
of the party. Zanu PF has come a long way and at different times it has had
infiltrators and people planted within - the fifth columnists - but they
have always been flushed out."

Nkomo said he would not sink so low as to engage in mudslinging because the
seized farms would eventually be taken anyway. He said whoever was writing
the Sunday Mail's weekly column under the name Lowani Ndlovu "does not
think" because he was trying to "defend the indefensible". Mirror publisher
Ibbo Mandaza also slammed the seemingly ghostly writer - widely thought to
be a voluble cabinet minister - this week for attacking people under cover
of anonymity.

Nkomo said Zanu PF would not accept elements within the party to "abuse" its
name to promote personal agendas, while whittling away at its reputation.

"We can't have people who behave like the opposition among us. Sooner or
later Zanu PF shall cleanse itself of these elements," he said.

Nkomo sparked the increasingly messy wrangle with fellow ministers who had
more than one farm recently after he wrote to them saying he was taking back
their extra land holdings. The officials included ministers Jonathan Moyo (I
nformation and Publicity), Ignatius Chombo (Local Government), Joseph Made
(Agriculture), Patrick Chinmasa (Justice) and Chris Mu-shohwe (Transport).
The mini-sters denied that they owned surplus farms, either saying they had
now abandoned them or that they were allocated to their relatives.

Moyo, who was deemed to have three farms, said the withdrawal letters were
"preposterous and annoying". He said the safari farm, cited as Lot 2 of Dete
in Hwange, was withdrawn and allocated to a Mrs Jackie Mayers, who is his

Moyo has also denied ownership of a farm in Bubi-Mguza area, saying it was
allocated to his mother. He has further denied that he had an interest in
Little Connemara, claiming that it "dramatised the malice" behind the letter
of withdrawal. But Nkomo said such things would not be tolerated.

"Lowani Ndlovu" two weeks ago attacked Nkomo and other officials charged
with land reform, saying the current events showed that "they don't think at
all". He also indirectly attack-ed President Robert Mugabe when he said his
recent split-ting of land ministries did not work.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Judge slams Chinamasa
Staff Writer
FORMER Administrative Court president Michael Majuru has accused Justice
minister Patrick Chinamasa of interference in the protracted legal wrangle
over the closure of the Daily News and Daily News on Sunday.

Majuru, who fled to South Africa last year after being hounded by state
security agents and politicians, claimed Chinamasa intervened when he was
dealing with the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe case.

He said the minister put him under pressure to rule against the Daily News
and its sister paper because they "promoted British interests".

Contacted for comment yesterday, Chinamasa said he was preparing an
appropriate response to Majuru's claims but said it would not be ready by
the time of going to press. The minister threatened to sue the Zimbabwe
Independent over Majuru's story.

"I thought I should just remind you that it is now a year after he (Majuru)
resigned," Chinamasa said. "You should ask yourself why he is saying this
after a year. I do not know what his motive is but you should be prepared to
be sued if you publish the story."

Majuru's claims have been carried in the South African media. Chinamasa said
he had seen the reports.

In a statement sent to the Independent yesterday, Majuru said Chinamasa
tried to dragoon him into making a ruling in favour of the Media and
Information Commission (MIC).

He also claimed prominent businessman Enock Kamushinda offered him a farm to
influence him to rule against the ANZ.

Majuru said Chinamasa en-tered the fray after the ANZ had appealed to the
Administrative Court against the MIC's refusal to issue the newspaper group
with a licence. This followed a Supreme Court ruling which ordered ANZ to
first seek registration before its constitutional challenge against the
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act could be heard.

"Chinamasa at this point called a fellow judge that I was working with to
his offices. He instructed my colleague on the bench that the application
for an urgent appeal hearing was to be refused and that the appeal should
only be heard towards the end of January or in early February," Majuru said.

"The reasons given by Chinamasa were that the paper (Daily News) was
British-funded and therefore promoting British interests."

Majuru said Chinamasa also claimed the Daily News would interfere with, and
therefore jeopardise, ongoing talks between Zanu PF and the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) which were said to have reached a
"delicate stage".

"As proof of the delicate stage the talks had reached, the minister showed
this fellow judge documents on some of the constitutional amendments
allegedly agreed upon between the ruling party and the members of the
opposition aforesaid," Majuru said.

"The instructions of the minister were duly conveyed to me by my fellow
judge. As you will recall, I presided over the application for an urgent
appeal and granted it, in spite of the pressure from the minister."

Majuru said Kamushinda, who was chairman of Metropolitan Bank and Zimpapers,
"invited" me to his offices through an intelligence officer. He said
Kamushinda promised him a farm if he ruled against the ANZ, saying other
judges had already been given land. But Majuru said he refused.

"On a Thursday evening at about 9pm when I was still in the office writing
the judgement, minister Chinamasa phoned me from Bulawayo where he was
attending a pre-budget seminar," Majuru recalled.

"He demanded to know what my decision was going to be in the matter. He also
insisted on knowing whether my decision was not 'going to get me into

Majuru said he advised Chinamasa that he was almost through with his ruling
which would go against the MIC. He said Chinamasa took him to task over the
issue, ordering him to give his reasons for the judgement. He said the
minister and intelligence agents continued to put pressure on him, leading
to his departure to South Africa.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Harare MDC councillors set to quit
Augustine Mukaro
THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has mooted withdrawing
all its Harare councillors after 13 of them were dismissed by government
last week.

Councillors who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent said the MDC national
executive resolved to withdraw its councillors in April when Local
Government minister Ignatius Chombo rendered the council ineffective by
firing Harare's first elected executive mayor Elias Mudzuri and barring the
city from holding full council meetings.

"Councillors' withdrawal decision was put on hold in the hope that they
could fight on through defying Chombo's directives," one councillor said.

"The fight also included passing a vote of no confidence in Sekesai
Makwavarara (acting mayor) and electing a new deputy mayor to regain control
of Town House. Chombo made our mandate impossible by suspending and
subsequently dismissing the councilllors when they voted out Makwavarara
during a full council meeting."

The councillors were suspended in May on allegations of disrupting council
operations. Thirteen were dismissed last week.

The councillors said current developments at Town House made a mockery of
the claim that an MDC council was running Harare. They said Chombo and
governor Witness Mangwende had effectively taken over.

"Councillors no longer have any say in the affairs of the city so there is
no need to remain there. Government's newly-appointed James Kurasha-headed
committee is already sitting in decision-making meetings," another
councillor said.

Chombo this week said the Kurasha committee would work in conjunction with
the council and resident minister Magwende.

The councillors said there was no need to continue taking flak for poor
service delivery when Zanu PF was responsible.

"Our mandate as elected leaders has been usurped, making it impossible for
us to serve the people who elected us. The whole thing has degenerated into
a dirty political game instead of a fight to improve the welfare of the
urban electorate," the councillor said.

Sources said the MDC was already working on the logistics of a withdrawal.

MDC Local Government secretary Jobert Mudzumwe said a committee would soon
be set up to decide the way forward.

In total, 19 MDC councillors have been fired by Chombo since the opposition
shocked Zanu PF out of its entrenched positions in urban areas.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Gono attacks 'A5 farmers'
Goodfrey Marawanyika
RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono this week gingerly stepped
into a political minefield when he made a veiled attack on people who invade
farms and vandalise projects that earn the country foreign currency.

Announcing his monetary policy in Harare on Tuesday, Gono said there was now
a new breed of farmers who were not in the A1 or A2 framework.

"We now have a new set of farmers who want to reap where they did not sow.
These farmers, we have decided to call them A5 farmers," he said.

"When we take over a farm and destroy greenhouses, we are destroying our
source of foreign currency," said Gono.

This was apparently in reference to the government's land reform in which
war veterans and other Zanu PF supporters have invaded horticultural
projects and those enjoying Export Processing Zone status.

"Achievement of sustainable agricultural productivity requires that, at the
national level, comprehensive marketing arrangements be put in place,
adequately protecting the interests of farmers, buyers of produce and the
end users - our communities in general."

Last month, the International Monetary Fund gave Zimbabwe a six-month
reprieve to make meaningful efforts to settle its debts. It raised concerns
on issues pertaining to property and governance.

In May Gono also lashed out at those who violate property laws. He said
successful recovery of the agricultural sector should be supported by
marketing arrangements that would ward off problems experienced in contract
growing schemes.

"Under such circumstances, 'fly-by-harvest-time' traders have cropped up,
offering prices that are out of tune with overhead structures, effectively
destabilising the production and marketing chain," he reitereated on

"Those same traders, in most cases, would not have supported the farmers to
begin with, only pitching up mid-stream in the agricultural season to reap
what they have not sown."

Gono said the envisaged improvement in the foreign exchange situation, the
decline in inflation coupled with the avoidance of policy reversals, would
assist in rebuilding the image of the country.

"As monetary authorities, we want to register our immense appreciation to
the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for their continued
support in our turnaround programme," he said.

"The six-month window of opportunity the country has been given to
consolidate its turnaround programme will be fully utilised to further align
the policy framework with the vision of balanced and sustained economic
growth," he said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Political violence resurfaces
Gift Phiri
POLITICAL violence has resurfaced with greater intensity ahead of the
general election scheduled for March next year, opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai has said.

Tsvangirai in his weekly message said Zanu PF militants had been attacking
his party's leaders and disrupting their rallies. The MDC leader said ruling
party supporters in Buhera disrupted his meeting last Wednesday. He said
there was an attempt on his life in Mvurwi last month.

Tsvangirai was confronted by a group of war veterans at Marenga Business
Centre near Birchneough Bridge last week. He said tension was also high at
Domboshava Business Centre in Goromonzi last Saturday. A group of war
veterans based at a squatter camp known as Sally Mugabe Heights outside
Harare's Borrowdale suburb tried to disrupt Tsvangirai's meeting. "They
shouted obscenities and threatened those at the meeting with death,"
Tsvangirai said.

Meanwhile, a group of about 50 Zanu PF militias abducted Bob Makone, the
younger brother of MDC official Ian Makone, and force-marched him to a Zanu
PF base after a rally addressed by Education minister Aeneas Chigwedere at
Musavadye School in Wedza also last Saturday. Makone was severely assaulted
the whole night by the Zanu PF thugs and released on Sunday morning.

The group returned to the Makone homestead in the morning chanting anti-MDC
slogans and accused Theresa Makone, the party's candidate for Wedza
constituency in the forthcoming parliamentary election, of being a sellout.
They demanded that she be killed for daring to stand on an MDC ticket.

MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi said it was appalling that Chigwedere, who
is also the current Wedza MP, should encourage "barbaric and diabolic acts"
in a desperate effort to retain power when President Robert Mugabe has been
calling for peace.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

MDC completes poll survey
Itai Dzamara
MOVEMENT for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai says his party
has completed a survey across the country which reveals that people are not
willing to participate in an election that is not guaranteed to be free and

In an interview last week, Tsvangirai said his party has held meetings
countrywide to determine people's expectations.

"At our meetings countrywide, people were not anxious about taking part in
an election with a predetermined outcome. They said they would rather stay
at home," said Tsvangirai.

"The questions they raised were best answered by the setting up of essential
institutional safeguards to attend to open electoral infringements witnessed
in Zimbabwe during the past five years."

The MDC is currently carrying out a consultative process which started off
with 12 provincial committees and is now at the level of district
committees, Tsvangirai said.

"A position will come out of this process and we will decide what to do in
the event that Zanu PF fails to provide a conducive electoral framework," he

He said the MDC would convene a conference towards election time bringing
together provincial and district committees to review the situation and make
a decision on the way forward.

Meanwhile, MDC spo-kesperson Paul Themba-Nyathi this week said the
opposition party was almost through with the process of selecting candidates
to contest next year's polls.

"We still use the selection process that has been in place since the
formation of the party. Our constitution stipulates that two thirds of
members in district committees must confirm the candidature of a seating
MP," Nyathi said.

"In that event, the sitting MP is eligible to represent the party. If the
incumbent MP fails to get the two thirds support, then the doors are opened
for all those interested in standing in that particular constituency to
mount their challenges. At that stage a sort of primary election would be

Out of the 51 legislators for the MDC, 42 have been confirmed to contest
next year's elections, Nyathi said.

Five MPs will have to contest against aspiring candidates for the right to
represent the MDC in their constituencies after failing to get endorsement
from district committees. These are Trudy Stevenson of Harare North, Sydney
Mukwecheni of Mutare North, Tichaona Munyanyi of Mbare East, Bethel
Makwembere of Mkoba and Danmore Makuwaza of Mbare West.

The late Ben Tumbare-Mutasa of Seke had also failed to get endorsement.
There are three constituencies in which the MDC's district committees are
yet to decide on the eligibility of incumbent MPs. These are Hwange East,
Gwanda North and St Mary's.

The MDC will also be fielding candidates in the other constituencies across
the country where it failed to win or contest in the 2000 elections, Nyathi
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Church leaders under pressure
Shakeman Mugari
AS the campaign for the upcoming election gets under way, Zanu PF is
understood to be urging church leaders in Seke constituency to compel their
congregations to attend a political rally scheduled for Sunday.

Village headmen and chiefs have also been told to bring their subjects to
the rally. Acting Finance minister Herbert Murerwa and the party's 2000
parliamentary election losing candidate Phineas Chihota are expected to
address the rally.

A rally scheduled for last Sunday flopped after residents snubbed it. The
ruling party has now resorted to coercion to boost numbers, critics say.

This comes barely a week after the death of Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) MP for the constituency, Ben Tumbare-Mutasa.

On Tuesday party officials and a small group of youth militia dragged
chiefs, village headmen and church leaders to a meeting where they were told
to bring their followers to the rally.

The rally is expected to mark the beginning of the campaign for next year's
parliamentary election in the Seke constituency.

Chiefs and headmen are required to compile registers of their members which
they will submit to party officials on the day of the rally.

The clergy were also given an ultimatum to end all their church services at
12 noon on Sunday to make way for the rally.

After the service the church leaders are required to lead their
congregations to Arcturus Stadium where a roll call will be conducted before
the rally. Intimidating letters have already been served on pastors.

Church leaders confirmed to the Zimbabwe Independent that they had received
such letters demanding that they bring their members to the rally.

This week some Zanu-PF youths rampaged through Arcturus threatening to beat
residents if they don't attend the rally.

The party has been unable to stage a successful rally in Arcturus this year.
Their first attempt two months ago failed to take off owing to poor

The Independence and Unity Day celebrations organised by the ruling party
also failed to attract crowds. Both Murerwa and Chihota could not be reached
for comment.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Election supervisors still unpaid
Itai Dzamara
THE Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) is failing to pay $1 billion owed
to civil servants who supervised its voter registration exercise over a
two-month period.

ESC spokesman Thomas Bvuma yesterday said they had asked for more funds from
government after exhausting their budget.

"The ESC has not yet paid people who monitored and supervised the
registration of voters and carried out civic and voter education from 1 May
to 14 July 2004 due to financial constraints," Bvuma said in a written
response to questions by the Zimbabwe Independent.

"The original allocation to the ESC has already been used up in the Gutu
North, Zengeza and Lupane parliamentary by-elections and in several local
government by-elections. The ESC has requested more money to finance its

Each of the monitors had been promised a daily allowance of $130 000 over a
period of 75 days. The ESC monitors acted together with officials from the
registrar-general's office who were conducting the voter registration ahead
of next year's general election.

Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede has prepared the voters' roll despite
electoral reforms promised by government to set up an independent Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission to run next year's poll.

Mudede refused to answer questions from the Independent on what his role
would be after the electoral reforms.

"Please be advised that there has been a lot of publicity on the issues you
are raising on the underlined subject matter both in the print and
electronic media. The registrar-general has nothing more to add or comment,"
said a CA Goredema, on behalf of the registrar-general's office.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Arda fails to pay
Staff Writer
THE cash-strapped Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) is
failing to pay companies transporting irrigation equipment and other farming
implements to its newly-acquired farms across the country, the Zimbabwe
Independent heard this week.

The contracted transport companies are now threatening to withdraw their
services from Arda citing non-payment.

Transporters said their businesses had been thrown into disarray as a result
of Arda's failure to honour its contractual obligations.

"Arda doesn't pay," one transporter said. "Just last week a cheque for

$500 million to one of us (transporters) was dishonoured resulting in a

"As business, if we relied on Arda, we would definitely be out of business.
The authority has been failing to pay us and we are tired of their excuses."

Efforts to get comment from Arda were fruitless as the chief executive,
Joseph Matowanyika, was said to be in Langkawi, Malaysia, with the President
at a smart partnership meeting.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

White commercial farmers form new organisation
Loughty Dube
EMBATTLED white commercial farmers have formed a regional organisation, the
Southern African Commercial Farmers Alliance (Sacfa), to fight for their

The new group, which includes members from the Commercial Farmers Union
(CFU) and Justice for Agriculture (JAG), was launched last month in
Bulawayo. It is also expected to draw members from Namibia, Botswana, Malawi
and South Africa.

The organisation will press for equitable land redistribution in the region.

Former CFU leader for Matabeleland province, Mac Crawford, was elected
chairman of Sacfa, while well-known commercial farmer and rancher, David
Connelly, was elected his deputy.

Other members of the executive include Nyamandlovu Farmers Association
chairman Chris Jarrett and another Nyamandlovu farmer, Gay Wilde.

Connelly confirmed the formation of Sacfa, which he said was a result of a
breakaway from the CFU by Matabeleland farmers.

"We were dissatisfied with the route the CFU was taking, so we decided that
as Matabeleland farmers we should break away and since August last year we
have been working towards an organisation of this nature," Connelly said.

However, Connelly said the organisation's focus was to co-ordinate
commercial agriculture in southern Africa and said they would not dwell on
the issue of fighting government over compensation.

"JAG is handling that at the moment and we are in total support of that but
we have problems with the CFU because they want to take another route,"
Connelly said.

Sacfa will also fight for a guarantee in respect of land title and an end to
nationalisation of farmland.

"Sacfa will press specifically for a climate in which compensation for the
devastation and losses caused to commercial farmers is paid and that those
who caused these losses be held accountable," the group said.

Former white commercial farmers are currently embroiled in legal wrangles
with government over the payment of compensation for seized properties.

Matabeleland commercial farmers have been critical of the direction the CFU
was taking in regard to compensation.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Moyo exposed
Dumisani Muleya
INFORMATION minister Jonathan Moyo was allocated more than one farm despite
his angry denials, official documents show.

Documents from the Agriculture ministry indicate that Moyo, who has been
named together with other ministers as multiple farm owners, was given
Paterson Farm in Mazowe and Lot 2 of Dete in Hwange. He was also linked to
other farms in Matabeleland and Little Connemara in Nyanga. He has however
denied ownership of all but one farm, Paterson.

A letter dated November 30 2001 and signed by Agriculture minister Joseph
Made, also named as a multiple farm owner, shows Moyo was allocated Paterson
Farm which measures 622,9 hectares.

The farm was described in the offer letter, whose reference was "offer of
state land holding, Model 2 Phase 11", as state and not private land.

The letter said Made's then Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, and Rural
Resettlement, which allocated Moyo the farm under the Agricultural Land
Resettlement Act, "reserves the right to cancel/withdraw this offer if it is
established that you failed to disclose essential information when you
completed your application or when you were interviewed, such as the
ownership or lease of other state land".

Despite the description of Paterson Farm as state land, documents show that
Moyo later went on to buy the property for a mere $6 million from Made's
ministry. The documents indicate that Moyo wrote a Jewel Bank cheque at the
Westgate branch on July 22, 2002 as payment for the farm. The bank's branch
number was given as 6118 and the cheque number as 000003, while the account
number was (01211) 66058401. A stamped Agriculture ministry receipt No
955419 shows that the payment was made on July 22, 2002 by "Prof JN Moyo"
whose address was given as P Bag 7700 Causeway, Harare.

The payment followed a letter written by Agriculture permanent secretary
Ngoni Masoka on April 29 2002 to Moyo informing him about the cost of the
land and improvements.

"Our valuation figure for the improvements and land is $6 million," Masoka
said. "That is the figure that you are expected to pay for both improvements
and land. The figure is broken down as follows: improvements $1,894 million
and land $4,106 million."

Documents say "Prof JN Moyo", whose ID No was 63-0857281M-73, was also
offered Lot 2 of Dete in Hwange which was estimated to be 3 165,16 hectares.

A letter signed by Made confirmed that Moyo was given the farm that was also
described as state land. However, Moyo has said the farm belonged to a
Jackie Mayers, his cousin. Moyo has also denied he owned another farm in
Matabeleland, saying it belonged to his mother.

A number of ministers and high-ranking Zanu PF and government officials have
been accused of using their influence to grab several farms and using
proxies to hide them. President Robert Mugabe has vowed to recover the
seized farms.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Zanu PF/MDC clash over reforms
Dumisani Muleya
ZANU PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), having
resumed talks focused on the proposed electoral reforms, have clashed on how
to proceed.

Zanu PF's chief negotiator Patrick Chinamasa met with his MDC counterpart,
Welshman Ncube, on July 14 in Harare to discuss the electoral reforms
officially announced by President Robert Mugabe in parliament last week.

Although government has denied the resumption of the talks, which collapsed
soon afterwards, information to hand shows that Chinamasa and Ncube met at
parliament to discuss the issue.

Ncube confirmed the meeting took place but could not give details.

"It is a matter of public record that we have been meeting informally to
find a road map to end the current political impasse," Ncube said. "But it
is now clear to us that Zanu PF no longer wants the informal dialogue, let
alone formal talks. So that's it."

Sources said Chinamasa and Ncube had a no-holds-barred discussion on the
proposals. The sources said Chinamasa and Ncube clashed because the Zanu PF
negotiator wanted to arm-twist the MDC into rubber-stamping the reforms
without amendment.

However, Ncube refused to make an undertaking that his party would back the
proposals when they come to parliament, saying there were contentious issues
that needed to be sorted out.

While Zanu PF wanted talks to be confined to the electoral reforms, the MDC
wanted full dialogue to address the broad Zimbabwe crisis.

The opposition wanted talks to include an end to political violence and
intimidation, restoration of political and civil liberties, upholding the
rule of law, and creation of an environment for free and fair elections.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Mugabe paves way for sunny Mauritius summit

 Dumisani Muleya

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is gearing up for the crucial Southern African
Development Community (Sadc) meeting next month by adopting electoral
reforms and preaching the gospel of non-violence during election campaigns
ahead of next year's poll.

Political analysts said Mugabe was making concessions on reforms to win the
support of Sadc colleagues who have helped prop up his regime.

University of Zimbabwe analyst John Makumbe said Mugabe was engaged in a
familiar juggling act to pull the wool over stakeholders' eyes, while in
fact remaining decisively hide-bound and resistant to reform.

Makumbe said the proposed measures were calculated to make Mugabe's life
comfortable at the Sadc summit in Mauritius next month. It would have been
awkward, he said, for Zimbabwe to adopt the Sadc Principles and Guidelines
Governing Democratic Elections draft when it was not in compliance.

"It's clear the President is trying to hoodwink Sadc leaders into believing
that his proposed reforms will be consistent with the Sadc norms and
standards on elections," Makumbe said.

"When he gets there he is likely to say 'we have changed our system and it's
now compliant with the Sadc norms and standards on elections' when it's
evidently not. He is likely to make such claims but say nothing about the
repressive laws that make it difficult to have free and fair elections."

Makumbe said the proposals were an "inconsequential package of piecemeal
reforms" that would make no difference. He said despite the hype from
seemingly gullible civic groups and commentators, "the rigging of elections
will continue at the National Command Centre which will remain intact".

It was not possible, Makumbe said, to have fundamental political reforms,
while a raft of repressive laws such as the Public Order and Security Act,
the Access to Information & Protection of Privacy Act, Broadcasting Services
Act, the Criminal Procedure and Evidence (Amendment) Act and the
Miscellaneous Offences Act remained. "Sadc leaders will be shocked to
realise that after further assurances of reform, the situation will remain
the same and political violence will intensify ahead of the election," he

"Most of these people hailing the so-called reforms are joking, they don't
know Zanu PF. It will push its own people through parliament to run the
elections and all MDC nominees will be rejected. This means there will be no

Of late government has been wavering between piecemeal reforms and panicky
repression. While Mugabe promised electoral reforms last week, he at the
same time threatened further repressive legislation to deal with NGOs and a
Security of Communications Bill designed, presumably, to gag the Internet
and telephones.

Mugabe has been giving clear signals that he was preparing for the Sadc
meeting, especially after his humiliation at the recent African Union (AU)
summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Zimbabwe hogged the limelight in Ethiopia -
as usual for all the wrongs reasons - after a damning AU Commission on Human
and People's Rights report on the country's human rights situation and state
of governance.

The Sadc draft puts Zimbabwe in an invidious position. While the draft
proposes comprehensive changes,  Zimbabwe  basically wants limited
modifications to the electoral system.

The regional draft encourages Sadc members to "establish impartial,
all-inclusive, competent and accountable national electoral bodies staffed
by qualified personnel, as well as competent legal entities including
effective constitutional courts to arbitrate in the event of disputes
arising from the conduct of elections".

It also says they must "safeguard human and civil liberties of all citizens,
including freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression and

Sadc member states are further encouraged to "take necessary measures and
precautions to prevent the perpetration of fraud, rigging, or any other
illegal practices throughout the whole electoral process".

Although Zimbabwe's reforms have been dismissed as cosmetic, Mugabe has been
highly voluble about them and the need for a "peaceful and nonviolent
election campaign".

The ruling Zanu PF and government have also been marketing their "sweeping
reforms", purportedly aimed at improving the electoral framework and
environment for free and fair elections.

Last week Mugabe told parliament that the reforms, which have triggered a
mixed reaction from stakeholders, would soon be introduced in parliament.

He said there would be an independent electoral commission, voting in one
day instead of two, counting of votes at polling centres and not at the
centralised National Command Centre and use of transparent, not wooden,

"On the basis of both the national debate and, of course, our experiences in
running elections since 1980, government is proposing far-reaching reforms
to our electoral law," Mugabe said.

"These proposed chan-ges, which also take into account ongoing regional
consultations on developing electoral norms and standards for Sadc, envisage
the creation of an independent electoral commission as the principal player
in running all our elections."

A Bill on the modifications of the Electoral Act, the principal law
governing elections in Zimbabwe, has been drafted and is expected to be
introduced for debate in the House of Assembly in September.

Zanu PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change are currently
engaged in delicate talks over the Bill despite furious denials by the
Department of Information and Publicity in Mugabe's office.

The Zanu PF leader of delegation to talks with the MDC, Patrick Chinamasa,
met with his opposition counterpart, Welshman Ncube, on July 14 in Harare to
discuss the proposals. The two clashed on key issues.

Sources said Chinamasa and Ncube had a no-holds-barred debate and clashed
because Chinamasa wanted to dragoon the MDC into rubber-stamping the
reforms. Ncube refused to make an undertaking that his party would nod
through the proposals when they come to parliament without first resolving
contentious issues.

Whatever the differences between Zanu PF and the MDC, Mugabe is likely to be
content with the fact that the reforms have been promised and there has been
contact with the opposition because this is likely to help his case for Sadc
's support at the Mauritius Summit.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent


Economy languishes on sickbed

 RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono this week painted a picture
of Zimbabwe's economy redolent with optimism that it was on the mend. Such
is the enthusiasm besetting Gono that he insisted the target of 200%
inflation by the end of the year was achievable.

He even announced that the timeframe for his economic turnaround plan would
be brought forward from end-2008 to 2007.

He however said the country, which registered negative gross domestic
product (GDP) of minus 9% last year, would again this year see a contraction
of minus 5%.

In reality while Gono may have staunched the haemorrhaging, the patient is
still on his sickbed. Even for the most optimistic, it is still too early to
talk about jobs created, the number of direct foreign investors, hefty
export receipts let alone positive GDP.

Gono all the same was upbeat this week. Like most business leaders he
understands what needs to be done. His optimism should therefore be tempered
by a good look at Zimbabwe's political environment which is bound to
deteriorate as the government gets into election mode.

Gono announced new measures to attract foreign investment including a
guarantee to pay back the entire capital within three months if investors
decide to leave.

The success of any investment programme will depend heavily on how Zimbabwe
is viewed by source markets of new money. All the evidence, from the IMF to
the World Economic Forum, suggests that the country is seen as one given to
arbitrary and unpredictable measures, and to selective enforcement of the

The governor has promised to crack down on the black market by monitoring
foreign currency bought at auctions. He said forex sent from the diaspora
would no longer be availed to recipients in hard currency.

He raised the diaspora rate to US$:$5 600 from $5 300. The greenback is now
trading at US$:$7 500 on the parallel market, a rate 30% higher than the
controlled auction. The tight leash on the value of the dollar designed to
keep it in the range of the diaspora rate might see more trading on the
parallel market which threatens the Homelink scheme.

This sort of tinkering won't do the trick. There is need for long-term
measures which address the supply side of foreign currency. This should in
turn determine the real value of the Zimbabwe dollar. Currently Zimbabwe has
an overvalued currency that is not enough to go round - as the markets are

Gono said the central bank was putting together financial instruments to
facilitate profitable investments by Zimbabweans living abroad. One such
facility is the Homelink Housing Development Scheme to encourage investment
in real estate. He also introduced the "Carrot and Stick Export Retention
Scheme" through which he wants to encourage exporters to remit their export
proceeds early. The scheme reduces the surrender requirement from the
mandatory 25% to lower rates commensurate with timeframes of repatriation.

Gono did not however revise the US$:$824 rate which exporters are paid for
surrendered foreign currency. He has insisted on pegging the dollar when the
rate has galloped off over the past six months. Zimbabwe is not exporting
enough to traditional markets to earn forex and Gono's statement has not
pumped new life into exporting companies, especially those requiring forex
to import inputs and machinery.

The central bank governor introduced measures to encourage the setting up of
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) companies. In the past EPZ companies with a
foreign component of 40% and above were exempted from exchange control
regulation. Under the new measures the foreign ownership threshold has been
revised downwards to 25%. Companies covered by the new measures will not be
subject to surrender requirements.

While it is apparent that the measures are meant to encourage joint ventures
between foreign companies and local firms, EPZs - especially those in the
agro-processing sector - no longer constitute safe business ventures. The
lowering of the foreign ownership threshold will not achieve much as long as
there is no stability or security for those still owning agro-businesses.

Charleswood and Kondozi farms with EPZ status were expropriated violently.
The latest amendment to the Land Acquisition Act empowers government to
acquire farms with EPZ status. And the confiscation of farm equipment will
send a very discouraging message to investors of any sort who see it as

It is such policy aberrations that will invariably sabotage Gono's monetary
policy whose success hinges on the creation of a sound  environment where
business leaders can make long-term decisions without fear of a predatory
political elite.

The raft of measures in Gono's 120-page presentation, pregnant with detail,
was a more thorough job than the wafer-thin Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review
statement by the Acting Finance minister Herbert Murerwa on Monday. Murerwa,
who appears to have abdicated his responsibility to chart a way for the
country's economy to Gono, did not go very far in telling us the pattern of
expenditure by government. He presented a table that showed that the
spendfest by ministries was over. But that is no guarantee that the money
allocated has been expended judiciously. That breakdown was crucial in
detailing what funds were used for - especially by ministries carrying out
capital projects.

Gono's statement may however turn out to be a good dance outside the arena
as the country needs a strong fiscal policy which ensures there is
supervision of measures being implemented, especially by government
departments and leaky parastatals.

Gono for example announced as of June 30 the central bank had disbursed $1,7
trillion as a rescue package for productive sectors, with agriculture
getting $744,5 billion, or 42,4% of the total sum. But giving money to the
sector will not alone be the panacea to dealing with depressed production.

Gono commended government's fiscal discipline - invisible to many
observers - and implored ministries to operate within their budgets. But
government's appetite to spend what it does not have is likely to be whetted
as next year's general election looms and benevolence will scale new
heights. Gono will have to find the money. At which point his good
intentions will be subject to a severe test.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Eric Bloch Column

The great haul of China

 THE extent to which the Chinese economy has developed and grown in recent
years is impressive in the extreme. In less than one-and-a-half decades it
has transformed itself from an economy that was so frail and debilitated
that almost all of China's vast population was impoverished to one which has
become the fifth-largest economy in the world, and is widely expected to be
its greatest by 2010.

It is an economy wherein per capita income is rising exponentially,
state-of-the-art technology is becoming the order of the day, inflation has
fallen dramatically, the currency has strengthened markedly and is now very
stable, and China is becoming a major global player in the field of foreign
direct investment (FDI).

However, the magnitude of China's achievements is tainted by the very great
extent to which its export operations - or, to be more correct, its mode of
conducting those operations - have weakened the already fragile economies of
many under-developed, and previously developing, countries. To a not
insignificant degree, Chinese economic growth has been realised by it
resorting extensively to what can only be termed as unfair trade practices.

Without in any manner belittling the meaningful economic growth that China
has attained through constructive economic programmes, it is
incontrovertible that some of its growth has not only been achieved at the
expense of other economies, but that such achievement has been realised by
ensuring that China and the other countries did not, and do not, trade upon
a level playing field, but upon one which is inequitably slanted in favour
of China.

Very regrettably, one of those gravely prejudiced countries is Zimbabwe. The
Zimbabwean economy has been adversely afflicted by gross governmental
economic mismanagement, by alienation of former international friends and
trading partners and by politically driven decimation of much of the
economic infrastructure.

As if this were not sufficient to drive that which could have been a virile
economy - benefiting the populace - to near extinction, that economy has now
been subjected to yet another devastating body blow, and is continuing to
suffer a recurrence of those blows.   That body-blow is a flooding of
Zimbabwe with immense quantities of Chinese textiles, clothing, footwear,
steel and other products, retailing at prices which are at a fraction of the
prices of locally produced products.

If China was stimulating massive demand for its products in Zimbabwe through
free and fair, open competition against the Zimbabwean manufacturers of like
goods, it could not be condemned for doing so. Instead, the Zimbabweans
would have to have an in-depth, considered evaluation as to what they could
be doing wrong to such an extent as to render them uncompetitive.

Are their products quality-deficient compared to the Chinese ones? Are their
manufacturing operations inefficient, resulting in excessively high
operational costs and inability to realise economies of scale? Are they
over-pricing their products, either because of excessive greed for massive
profits, or because of arrogance that as those products are domestically
manufactured, national patriotism will be the catalyst of consumer demand?

If any of these would be the factors that are creating a hunger in the
market for the Chinese products, instead of for the Zimbabwean ones, the
considered reaction should be that the Zimbabwean manufacturers deserve the
prejudices suffered by their businesses. They would be reaping their just

But wide-ranging and extensive investigations by many of those who have
suddenly lost their customer bases to the Chinese are evidencing that, in
most instances, is not the case. Instead, the Chinese products are
benefiting from unjustified advantages, many of which are in direct conflict
with the policies, rules and regulations of the World Trade Organisation
(WTO), and others which are founded upon circumventions of Zimbabwean fiscal

Whether the perpetrators of those circumventions are the Chinese suppliers
or the Zimbabwean importers is not clear-cut, and can only be established by
detailed investigation by the relevant Zimbabwean authorities.

The allegations of the distressed Zimbabwean enterprises that have found it
impossible to compete against the Chinese products are manifold. They
include contentions that the Chinese manufacturers receive labour cost
subsidies and export incentives far beyond those permitted under the General
Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of the WTO.

So great are those subsidies and incentives that many of the finished
products retail in Zimbabwe at prices which are markedly below the material
cost to the Zimbabwean manufacturer, let alone costs of manufacture. Thus,
for example, a T-shirt from China will be sold to the Zimbabwean consumer
for less than the yarn content cost which would be borne by the Zimbabwean
manufacturer to make a similar T-shirt.

The Zimbabwean manufacturers also argue that, even if unintentionally, the
government facilitates competition by the Chinese producers through
application of duties which are so insignificant in extent as to be
virtually meaningless. They cite a duty being payable upon imports of
clothing of a niggardly $100 per kg, which rate has applied since the
exchange rate was approximately US$1 to $18. Had the rate of duty moved in
tandem with exchange rate movement, the duty that would now be payable would
be approximately $30 000 per kg.

However, the Zimba-bwean importer of manu-facturing inputs, including
fabrics, trimmings, dyestuffs and consumable spares must pay duty on the
import of those inputs based upon the currently prevailing foreign currency
auction's weighted exchange rate! No one can credibly suggest that that
reflects a level of playing field.

The embattled Zimbabwean manufacturers also contend that their enquiries and
investigations have shown that to a considerable extent the import of
Chinese manufacturers has been without any incidence whatsoever of customs
duties and value-added tax (VAT). They allege that many container loads
enter Zimbabwe under documentation claiming that the container contents are
personal effects of Chinese citizens arriving to take up residence in
Zimbabwe in order to pursue investment in the country in terms of the
present friendship and collaboration circumstances between the Zimbabwean
and Chinese governments.

Their contention is that either in the light of those inter-governmental
relationships, or for other untoward motivations, certain Zimbabwe Revenue
Authority officials do not inspect the containers and, therefore, do not
expose the documentary misrepresentations.

Although no incontrovertible evidence has been given that this is occurring,
nevertheless the possibility thereof must be acknowledged, for it is
otherwise difficult to contemplate how Zimbabwe could suddenly have been
flooded with Chinese goods at unbelievably low prices. Certainly, even in
instances where disclosures are correct and complete, it is very evident
that Zimbabwe is not applying the WTO anti-dumping provisions.

Moreover, there are strong indications that many of the products are
entering Zimbabwe by way of operations of cross-border traders, many of whom
have become exceptionally adept at circumventing import duty and VAT
obligations, whether by recourse to smuggling or by unlawful interaction
with some corrupt Zimra officials. That this is probably the case is
supported by the fact that the Reserve Bank does not make available foreign
currency for imports of fabric other than as is to be used in manufacturing
processes, or for imports of non-essential finished products of a nature as
also produced in Zimbabwe.

In yet other instances, the Chinese importers are willing to accept payment
in Zimbabwean currency, applying the proceeds to new investments in
Zimbabwe. But this is contrary to governmental intent that foreign direct
investment much encompass inward capital remittances. Clearly the Zimbabwe
Investment Centre and Export Processing Zones Authority must monitor that
approved investments are funded with specified foreign currency inflows.

The consequences of the vast quantities of Chinese goods, imported under
such circumstances, as now appear in most Zimbabwean wholesaler and retailer
operations, and as have become stock-in-trade for small-scale operators in
Mbare, Highfield, Chitungwiza and elsewhere, are both far-reaching and very
negative. Many Zimbabwean manufacturers have already had to resort to
downsizing of their operations, and many others are facing closure. As a
result, many thousands more will soon become unemployed, if that has not
already happened to them in the last few months.

The scaling down of manufacturing operations, or their closure, also results
in cessation of downstream economic spending by those operations, to the
severe prejudice of many other enterprises. In addition, the fiscus suffers
significantly, with diminished inflows by way of income tax on profits, PAYE
on employee earnings, VAT and other revenues. The only minimal positive
flowing from the situation is the extent that informal sector traders are
enjoying greater sale volumes and incomes.

Government must urgently address theissues. Stringent compliance with
legislated import procedures must be enforced, tariffs must be realistically
reviewed upwards, and inward remittance of investment funds must be
enforced. If that is done, trade with China can, and should, continue, for
Zimbabwe should not constrain international trade.

All it must do is ensure that that international trade is conducted fairly
and transparently, so that the Zimbabwean and Chinese manufacturers operate
on a level playing field, competing primarily on a basis of quality, but
also on price - when price reduction is not achieved by excessive
subsidisation by the supplier country. Ministers Herbert Murerwa and Samuel
Mumbengegwi need to act assertively and rapidly!
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent


Ncube's sin and media scatology

  IT is difficult not to feel just a little sorry for Lovemore Mataire. Here
is the editor of a party newspaper chosen for his obedience, not to say
enthusiasm, for the Zanu PF cause when writing as an editorialist in the
state media. Upon the basis of that misguided loyalty he was duly promoted
to editor of the tired and little-read party mouthpiece, The Voice.

From there he was expected to toe the party line and generally continue with
the slavish tradition exemplified by the geography teacher Caesar Zvayi
whose ignorant and hate-filled posturing gives Zimbabwean journalism, not to
mention teaching, a bad name.

Now Mataire is under fire as he finds himself caught up in the internecine
war for the succession to President Mugabe. His crime was to have innocently
referred to talks between Zanu PF and the MDC on the much-touted electoral

These informal contacts are now common cause and as the proposed reforms
bear a remarkable resemblance to those being advanced by the MDC, it is
hardly surprising that observers should point to their source, which in
private is not denied.

Civics and regional governments have also played their part in getting Zanu
PF to adopt measures it was implacably hostile to only a few months ago.

But the Department of Information and Publicity immediately put out a
statement, in the florid language which provokes so much national mirth,
calling The Voice's report "a complete falsity" and its editor
"ideologically confused".

"It is appalling that an editor of an organ of the ruling party can get it
so wrong," the department commented.

It's appalling that state media are being treacherously abused by officials
in the Information department who should clearly explain the national
interest as opposed to their petty wars with Nathan Shamuyarira who
appointed Mataire.

It was difficult to know where the editor got the story given Patrick
Chinamasa's denials, the department's over-excited spokesman fumed. The
proposed electoral reforms had "fundamentally evolved from Zimbabwe's
experiences since Independence", and not from anywhere else, it was argued.
Sadc was in the process of working out its own electoral reforms. Not a
single Sadc state has the set of electoral reforms proposed by Zimbabwe on
its statute books, it was claimed.

Except for South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mauritius, Zambia, Malawi and
Mozambique. They all have provisions contained in the Sadc proposals. Only
Zimbabwe is out of line, and has now been obliged to conform if Sadc is to
declare the March poll free and fair. There will also be amendments to Posa
and Aippa, we can safely predict, which will again be presented as a Zanu PF

But what we want to know is why officials of the Department of Information
are issuing statements which concern a Zanu PF newspaper? Should the
complaint not have been addressed to Shamuyarira and John Nkomo who are
responsible for The Voice? Or can we safely assume that this spat is yet
another manifestation of the power struggle that has seen the Herald
hijacked for the use of one particularly ambitious contender while his
superiors are confined to the pages of the party's equivalent of Pravda
which, as was the case in the Soviet Union, nobody reads except the

Meanwhile, the Information department's spokesman should calm down a little
before issuing such manifestly self-interested statements. This latest
effort reminds us of Smokey Jones, a character in one of James Hadley Chase'
s thrillers whose reaction on the trigger is so fast that those who cross
his path are rarely able to open their mouths before they are gunned down.
Readers will notice that no other Zanu PF official has had access to the
state media or a right of reply since Smokey Jones, took over.

"I can say without equivocation that this Bill in the original form was the
most calculated and determined assault on our liberties guaranteed by the
constitution," said Eddison Zvobgo, chairman of the parliamentary legal
committee, of the original Access to Information and Protection of Privacy

Unfortunately, when the Bill was debated in parliament Zanu PF MPs thought
only the MDC would be outlawed from the media. By the time they wake up,
most of them could have lost their seats in next year's election.

It does appear that our "uncolonised" friend Lowani Ndlovu won't go down
without a fight. He is furious that he has been called a "mafikizolo" and is
apparently one of the multiple farm owners. Never mind that there were
errors in sending withdrawal letters to wrong ministers. What is clear to
everybody who has been following this sordid land saga is that there are
greedy fellows who don't want to surrender land they stole from the people,
the so-called "landless masses".

President Mugabe said everyone who needs land would get it. That includes
the breed called mafikizolo. That includes MDC supporters who need land. It
is only those who are sick in the mind like Lowani who think only Zanu PF
supporters must benefit from a vital national resource such as land.

It was never announced as government or party policy that land reform was
for Zanu PF. That would be criminal and sow seeds of future conflict. And
Muckraker doesn't believe that was the intention of the party leadership
when they embarked on the land reform.

What the party is now fighting is greed. Why should a few people, no matter
their position in the party or their role in the liberation war, want to eat
more than their fair share of national resources? Certainly clinging on to
more than one farm without disclosure amounts to corruption. And that is one
of the things that Mugabe has said he will root out. So Lowani Ndlovu and
the cabal of multiple farm owners he is trying to defend have nowhere to

But we note his claim this week that Land Reform ministry permanent
secretary Simon Pazvakavambwa has been colluding with some officials "to
falsify records, distorting them in the hope of creating and presenting a
picture that has no basis in reality".

That is a very serious charge and we hope Pazvakavambwa will respond in
equal measure. That is if he hasn't already started receiving unsolicited
advice from ambulance-chasing lawyers. So while that is an interesting ball
to watch, we still expect Lowani and his ilk to return ill-gotten farms -
including those allocated to "cousins".

What is interesting in all this is that the high-level dispute has smoked
out the interested parties. Lowani is no longer even pretending to be
anybody other than the chief land-grabber and information-hogger. Whether it
be Mugabe's succession or talks between Zanu PF and the MDC, the man's
insecurity is there for all to see.

Ignatius Chombo wants to run Harare council. He has become the virtual chief
executive. We wonder why he wants to perpetuate the illusion of following
the law. If anything, he is wasting our resources by appointing silly
committees of party hacks whose verdict is predictable.

On Friday he decided it was time to fire the 13 MDC councillors whom he
suspended in June. That brings to 19 the number of councillors that Chombo
has dismissed from council, thereby subverting the democratic process.

What is startling, if not shocking, is the minister himself cannot spell out
the offence the councillors committed. His biggest case against them is
simply that the Urban Councils Act gives him the power to fire them. Not
even the partisan Herald could find anything against the councillors. All
Chombo said was the councillors were "interfering in the management of
council affairs". This was after the councillors rightly challenged
ministerial meddling in council affairs.

In fact, Chombo's behaviour in Harare exposes him as a village bully who is
abusing the law to incapacitate an elected body. If he is bitter that his
party lost the capital to the opposition why doesn't he go and rule from
Zvimba where he was elected MP? Ever since he was appointed Local Government
minister, Harare residents have never enjoyed the benefit of their decision
to elect MDC councillors after years of shoddy performance by Zanu PF at
both local and central government level. We wish Zanu PF was equally quick
to deal with malfeasance among its top officials.

We note that the fired councillors interviewed by the Herald and on SW Radio
Africa said their appeal to the courts was only a formality because they had
lost confidence in the judicial system.

This is a common refrain heard across the land and it is one which the
judiciary should take note of. Public confidence is fundamental to an
effective judicial system.

The most optimistic headline of all time must surely be that in the Herald
last Saturday: "Blitz flushes out street vice." Needless to say there was
little in the story to justify such unrealistic claims. It is naïve in the
extreme to expect the arrest of just 11 men to end a vice as pervasive as
prostitution - the world's oldest profession!

The writer told us he had driven in the Avenues area around 10pm and
prostitutes and their potential clients had suddenly vanished from Harare
streets because of the police blitz.

"Also conspicuous by their absence were kerb-crawlers," enthused the
would-be voyeur. "Gone too were the women who used to ply their trade along
Samora Machel Avenue East and near Avondale Shopping Centre."

Not surprisingly, by Monday the same paper had another headline extolling
the miracles of the ZRP operation. "Prostitution blitz nets 14 more Harare
men," ran the heading. We hope they won't be telling us these were policemen
wrongly arrested while posing as prospective clients.

The most dire heading was in the Daily Mirror, "Battle for Hwange rages on",
in which the provincial administrator for Matabeleland North allegedly wants
Chombo to dissolve the local board because of financial irregularities. We
were told failure to deal with the problemthreatens the town with "imminent

What does that mean, even before we ponder the unimaginable where Chombo can
save a town from collapse? Is the administrator playing politics or does he
think Harare residents are forever grateful to Chombo for usurping the
powers of an elected council? Let's get real.

While Lowani Ndlovu attacks Lands minister John Nkomo with gusto in the
Sunday Mail, his alter ego, Nathaniel Manheru in the Herald, lashes out at
Archbishop Pius Ncube with searing passion. We were told Ncube lied about
Zimbabwe in a BBC interview in London.

"Not only was the 'holy man' lying between his divine teeth; he made sure
each lie was swollen with earthly hyperboles."

A case of the pot calling the kettle black! Muckraker doesn't have the good
fortune of hypocrites such as Manheru who advocate and impose 75% local
content in the electronic media while watching the godless BBC. So we don't
know precisely what lies Ncube is accused of telling the British. But
Manheru's advice should be noted: "The best medicine is to ignore the idiot;
to leave him to wallow in his uncatholic hate."

Indeed, all idiots should be ignored whatever their religion!

The little we do know, of course, is that Archbishop Ncube has consistently
refused to collaborate with Zanu PF in its culture of torture and violence
against opponents. While most church leaders have looked the other way in
the face of mounting repression, Ncube has dared to be different and speak
his mind as informed by his conscience. It is an unforgivable sin to have a
conscience in Zimbabwean politics. That is Ncube's greatest sin.

Muckraker recently wrote about "Toilet" Tambaoga's scatological Agrimende
song. A reader this week e-mailed us complaining of offensive language in
the Herald. Pius Ncube is described in the paper's Comment on Saturday as
having "mental diarrhoea" and the MDC's proposed Broad Alliance is sneered
at as "masturbatory". Ncube is described by Manheru as spitting "uncooked
saliva" in his BBC interview.

Responding to a letter published in the Zimbabwe Independent last week in
which a reader wanted to know why he is always critical of Tony Blair and
George Bush's policies and the opposition MDC but says hardly anything
against Mugabe, Manheru responds thus: "As to why I continually criticise
the dead MDC, well it is to make sure it's thoroughly dead, this browning,
brooding excreta we should never ever allow another white man to shit and
deposit on our land."

We wish to commend this encyclopaedia of hate speech and uncouth language to
our ethics police led by Tafataona Mahoso. When President Robert Mugabe
recently smugly told viewers that he only read the Herald did he know this
is what it prints? Is that what he wants his children to read? And it claims
to be a family newspaper! My foot.

Tel*One has increased its tariffs by almost 390%. According to New Ziana,
the new rates are four times those for January. In summary, this is what the
rate hikes mean: a three-minute local call now costs $585 from $120,
Internet services cost $235 from $48 per minute.

A spokesperson for the telephone company said the rates were a result of
"maintenance costs". This is a company in which government is the majority
shareholder. Inflation is currently around 350%. The question is, if
government entities are hiking rates above inflation, what faith are
ordinary consumers supposed to have in claims of an economic recovery and
falling inflation? How are workers expected to absorb these rate increases
except by demanding higher wages, which entail a spiral of price increases
all round?

Gideon: Where are you?
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

No going back: Gono
Ngoni Chanakira
RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono says he will continue
revamping the country's financial services sector to boost the economy, even
if it means ruffling some feathers in the process.

"We cannot just watch the economy and do nothing about it," Gono told
businessdigest after his monetary policy review presentation on Tuesday.

"During my travels in the diaspora, I discovered that there is a lot of
goodwill still remaining out there. There are individuals who are prepared
to help us."

Zimbabwe is facing a serious foreign currency crisis that has resulted in
commerce and industry almost grinding to a halt. As of December 2003, total
external arrears were estimated at US$2 billion, up from $1,3 billion at the
end of December 2002.

Exports have continued to fall as industry shuts down, further worsening
unemployment which now stands at 80%.

Industry bosses say Gono cannot achieve the economic revival stunt on his

"We need a strong fiscal policy which works hand in hand with the monetary
policy," Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe chief executive
officer Mike Ndudzo said.

"Industry is still operating without clear guidelines on some things. The
governor needs help in this regard."

Last month Gono went on a three-nation crusade to the United States (Dallas,
Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York and Washington), the United Kingdom (London,
Birmingham and Oxford) and Johannesburg, South Africa, in a bid to sell his
"Homelink" programme to Zimbabweans living abroad.

He urged locals in the diaspora to send money home using official channels
instead of the parallel market to which they had become accustomed.

On Tuesday five Zimbabweans from the South Africa Chapter of the RBZ's
diaspora team attended Gono's presentation and pledged to support the
governor as long as policies were "clear".

They later held a meeting with Gono and the Minister of Health and Child
Welfare, David Parirenyatwa, where they pledged to come up with a project
proposal about how Zimbabwe could tap into diaspora funds, especially from
those citizens who were not interested in the country's "politics".

Some Zimbabweans in the diaspora have pointed out to Gono that they will not
repatriate money to Zimbabwe before there is a regime change in the country.

They have also questioned why they should invest in a nation where they are
not allowed to vote and which the majority of them left because of political
persecution and death threats.

"Not all Zimbabweans in the diaspora are rabble rousers and traitors," said
Munyukwi Kahari, spokesperson of the South African-based business
executives, who is a banker by profession. "It is like saying that when one
moves from their rural area into the city they have become traitors. No, it
is all about a better standard of living."

Parirenyatwa said he was pleased the Zimbabweans had decided to invest back

"The health sector needs your support," he said. "We can come up with many
schemes where you can come in."

Zimbabwe recently had its request for US$218 million support for its HIV and
Aids programme thrown out by the international donor community amid reports
that the country is losing more than 3 000 individuals weekly through the
HIV and Aids scourge.

Gono said individuals who labelled him a "sellout" did not disturb him
because he was trying to shore up the economy, which continues to contract.

In his presentation on Tuesday, Gono said there were those "self-proclaimed
experts" in some segments of society bent on "derailing the momentum of the
economic recovery programme through a proliferation of thumb-sucked and
overly pessimistic trajectories on the country's economic performance in the

"Upon themselves, these experts have bestowed monopoly of accurate
forecasts, monopoly of wisdom, which wisdom only sees and prescribes that
the Zimbabwean economy can only go down one path: that of deterioration with
no capacity or prospects of recovery," Gono said.

"They will believe anything negative but will refuse to accept reality even
if such reality is staring them in the face. They are happy to feed our
external partners with falsehoods which see no good at all and your central
bank has spent frustratingly incredible amounts of time, energy and
resources explaining away fiction from facts, instead of concentrating on
the job at hand - that of guiding the economy towards prosperity."

However, analysts point out that the Zimbabwean economy has been
underperforming because of corruption and the abuse of facilities caused by
lack of supervision.

Parastatals continue to reap where they do not sow.

"To these experts who are making a living out of this practice this is what
we, as monetary authorities, have for them: Zimbabwe's economy is destined
towards only one direction, and this is the full economic recovery route,
with or without their flawed analyses," Gono said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

Locals exposed
By Vincent Kahiya
A LEADING clothing manufacturer and retailer this week decided to take up
the cudgels to deal with cheap Asian merchandise which is threatening to
cripple the local clothing and leather industries.

A provocative advert in the Herald this week shows a man and a woman who
appear awestruck and embarrassed by the sight of two other characters in
their "birthday suits".

Accompanying the picture are these words; "Kana wakapfeka zvekwa zhing-zhong
hauna kupfeka. Wakashama. Uri mushwi. (If you are wearing something from
zhing-zhong you are undressed. You are naked)".

Zhing-zhong is the street lingo for products from Asia - mainly China -
which have hit the country.

The advert might be in bad taste for those adorned in the cheap zhing-zhong
apparels from footwear right up to headgear including everything in between
and beneath.

The clothing and footwear being sold at flea-markets and in the Western area
of Central Harare do look presentable and well enough to cover all aspects
of human anatomy but the cheap imports have left local clothing retailers
and manufacturers exposed. The industry has over the years suffered as a
result of imports of second-hand clothing.

The entry of Asian imports has deferred the recovery of the industry and
with it jobs have been lost and production lines closed at some factories.

But the distress call from local industry has not moved government at all as
the zhing-zhongs are construed as an illustration of the commitment to
promote stronger ties with Asian countries.

In parliament at the beginning of the month, Industry and International
Trade minister Dr Samuel Mumbengegwi brushed aside questions on the
durability of the cheap imports and spelt out what he was doing to protect
local manufacturers.

He said goods being imported into the country were checked for durability

by the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ).

The SAZ however denied this saying it requires authority from government to
check imported goods. Mumbengegwi repeats the same assertions in a story we
carry in the businessdigest adding that consumers were free to make choices.

"Why should someone buy a more expensive product when you can get it for
less?" he asks.

To translate the minister's empty response, his ministry has no programme to
protect local industry from cheap clothing imports.

Does it not bother him that jobs could be lost in the clothing factories and
at textile companies? Or does he perceive the entry of the Chinese traders
to be direct foreign investment? Can Zimbabwean businessmen walk into China
and saturate the market there with Bata shoes and Pilot shirts? Does free
trade mean absolute freedom to move goods across borders?

Also exposed by the zhing-zhong wave is Zanu PF stalwart, indigenisation
exponent and shoe manufacturer Philip Chiyangwa. His leather products
company Midiron, a subsidiary of Native Investments - which last week signed
a US$20 million deal with an SA firm - is under threat "due to the influx of
cheaper products from Asia". Mumbengegwi says Zimbabwean goods must compete.

Chiyangwa is however looking West to sell more shoes and leather products.

"We intend to venture into the European markets as various enquiries have
been made from these parts of the world but were not developed further due
to capacity constraints," he said at the signing ceremony last weekend.

But compare this with President Mugabe's position in his speech to
parliament on Tuesday last week;

"Mr Speaker, I have consistently exhorted the business sector to break the
spell cast on them by colonial history, a spell that irrationally attaches
them to the West for investments, imports, exports, loans and even for best
practices. This neo-colonial depe-ndence syndrome has been our repeated

Remember party policy Cde Phil:Look East.

President Mugabe was in Malaysia this week to attend a South-South junket -
the Langkawi Smart Partnership Dialogue.

We await the implementation of a number of projects which the government
says would pan out of the Look East policy.

The nation has been told of the establishment of a computer assembly plant,
DVD assembly lines, a US$2,5 billion agro-export deal with a Malaysian
company to benefit some 35 000 old and newly-resettled farmers. With this
Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono does not need Homelink!

But here is an unfortunate spin-off from the Look East policy.

It has been learnt that the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare has left
cheap zhing-zhong condoms with names like Molly and Alice - manufactured in
China - and Karex of Malaysia to be distributed at Zimbabwe's border posts.
The influx of the untested condoms "being sought after like hot cakes" was
celebrated in the Sunday Mail which came up with this marketing message:
"They are known to cause a burning sensation in both parties during
intercourse which makes them a hit among those in the sex industry."

We were also told that they often break during sex as they are too small for
African men. Reaction from government on the distribution of these condoms,
which do not have expiry dates, has been a convenient silence - even if the
sex appendages are illegal and a huge risk to the population.

Compare this with the chorus of disapproval this month after it was
discovered that Care International inadvertently distributed a tainted
sorghum seed variety in Masvingo last year.

Dr David Parirenyatwa, please do something about Molly, Alice and Karex.

Zimbabwean men being tingled by these condoms should take heed of the ad:
"Kana wakapfeka zvekwa zhing-zhong hauna kupfeka."
Back to the Top
Back to Index

From Africa Confidential (UK), 23 July

On and on and on

Economic failure confronts Mugabe more sharply than opposition parties and
foreign critics

The African Union summit in Addis Ababa formally accepts a devastating
critique of the government's human rights abuses. The United Nations Food
and Agriculture Organisation lambasts the government's land reforms and
claims of a bumper harvest. The International Monetary Fund blames the
government's failed policies for encouraging capital flight and emigration.
And the 80-year President Robert Mugabe rides in his Rolls Royce to open
parliament on 20 July, with no visible plan for an imminent retirement.
Zimbabweans understand that the real purpose of legislation is the opposite
of that expressed in the title. Thus the Public Order and Safety Act is used
to bar civil society groups and opposition parties from protesting, while
ruling party militias attack citizens with impunity. The Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act has been used to bar independent
journalists and close down private newspapers such as the Daily News. As for
the Anti-Corruption bill, even party loyalists fear it will be used for
political victimisation rather than to cut graft. The day after Mugabe
opened parliament, the outspoken Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube, was in
London to launch the Zimbabwe Defence and Aid Fund, for victims of state
oppression. Government loyalists have pursued Ncube with death threats and
harassed his congregation, but Jesuit-educated Mugabe has stopped short of
incarcerating dissident churchmen. This may now change.

Gideon rising

Considering the economic nightmares with which he has to contend daily,
Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono is a relaxed man. He speaks gaily of
economic challenges, never of difficulties or crises. He is also
demonstrably godly, in the evangelical mode. Combining the two qualities,
Gono beams a beatific smile when asked for irritating details about
Zimbabwe's latest financial arrangements by nosey journalists or tetchy
creditors. Gono has a disarming habit of calling his inquisitors 'my
brother' which may take the sting out of killer questions. A visitor to the
Reserve Bank was impressed to hear his secretary inform Governor Gono that
'number one' was on the line. Coolly Gono took the phone and began a casual
phone call about payments for overseas school fees with Mugabe, exhibiting
none of the deference and fawning that can accompany presidential calls. So
close are the two that some suspect Mugabe's plan is to push Gono forward as
candidate for the prime minister's post he wants to create if or perhaps
when Zanu PF get their two-thirds majority in next year's elections and
change the constitution. Gono fits the profile.
Back to the Top
Back to Index